Vasiliy Lomachenko moved one step closer to reaching his goal of becoming the undisputed lightweight champion on Saturday by overwhelming Luke Campbell to win by unanimous decision.
The victory allowed Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KOs) to hold on to his WBA and WBO lightweight titles, while also earning the WBC championship, which had been vacant.
Lomachenko Takes Control, Scores Late Knockdown
The two former Olympic gold medalists began the fight on nearly equal terms, with Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) proving that he came to fight. During the first half of the bout, there were several rounds that were too close to call, with Campbell looking particularly impressive in the first two rounds.
But by the fifth round, Lomachenko had put his stamp on the fight, hurting Campbell in the final seconds of the round and likely only missing a knockdown because he didn’t have time to follow up on the assault. From that point on, the champion looked to have the better of most exchanges, culminating in him scoring a knockdown during a dominant 11th round.
Vasiliy Lomachenko's 11th-Round Knockdown (vs. Luke Campbell) pic.twitter.com/jbKJKpLlhO
— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) August 31, 2019
When the decision was announced, the only real drama was how much Lomachenko would win by. Ultimately, two judges gave him a 119-108 decision, while the third saw it 118-109 – scores that were slightly more lopsided than many observers had the fight, but which accurately reflected the scope of Lomachenko’s victory.
Winning in London held special meaning for Lomachenko, who won an Olympic gold medal there in 2012.
“Maybe it’s a lucky place for me,” Lomachenko said after the fight. “Of course, I’m happy. In UK, fans are the best fans in the world. Thank you I appreciate it.”
Unification Fight vs. Commey-Lopez Winner Likely
The big question now is what will be next for Lomachenko. After putting together what may have been the greatest amateur boxing career of all time, the 31-year-old Ukrainian has become widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world today, though others – like Terence Crawford – can also make claim to that title.
First on the list is the completion of his goal of unifying the lightweight championships. That would require beating the winner of the coming fight between IBF champion Richard Commey (29-2, 26 KOs) and his mandatory challenger Teofimo Lopez (14-0, 11 KOs). Lopez has been installed as an early 4/9 favorite for the fight, according to Paddy Power.
The real question is what Lomachenko will do if he is successful in earning every major lightweight title. According to promotor Bob Arum, the former featherweight champion might look to go back down in weight class in order to seek out stronger competition.
“After this fight, his next fight, or the big fight, will be for the IBF title [against] the winner of Commey-Lopez,” Arum told BoxingScene.com in London. “That is as competitive a fight as we can make for Lomachenko. At that particular point, we’ll look around and see if there are any other lightweights left to make good fights with him. And if there isn’t, we’ll go back down to 130 and fight guys like [Miguel] Berchelt.”
According to the BoxRec ratings database, Commey is considered the No. 2 lightweight in the world – behind only Lomachenko – while the 22-year-old Lopez is ranked fourth. Berchelt (36-1, 32 KOs) is rated as the world’s top super featherweight, and holds the WBC title in that division.